Green Homes - Achieving a Premium

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Studies find that 82 per cent of homebuyers would pay more for an environmentally friendly property

A new report published by leading global real estate advisors CBRE Residential reveals the true environmental impact of residential property. The report also suggests how to create truly eco-friendly homes and considers the long-term premiums attached.

The benefits of sustainable housing are clear from an environmental perspective; half of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions is created by fossil fuels consumed in the construction and operation of buildings. 

CBRE’s research demonstrates the financial benefits attached to eco-friendly property and how long term monetary savings, mostly from the reduction of energy-hungry white goods and appliances, provides the economic incentive for homeowners to pay for environmental attributes in a home. This is reinforced by research conducted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which found that making energy saving improvements to a home could increase its value up to 38% in some regions. 

Meanwhile, evidence and research shows that there is increasing buyer appetite for sustainable properties. Statistics released by UK housebuilder Redrow show that 63% of homebuyers want to purchase an environmentally friendly home, whilst 82% would pay a premium for a sustainable property.  

CBRE’s Sustainability report goes on to investigate a variety of techniques that can be incorporated by both producer and user to maximise sustainability and produce truly ‘green’ residential homes:

Energy

- Since 2008, there has a been a marked decrease in domestic consumption, down 186%. This decline has largely been helped by an increased education surrounding energy consumption and the rising financial cost of energy

Solar Energy 

  • - Significant cost savings are associated with domestic use of solar energy and solar panels, as well as other low carbon heating technologies such as air and ground sourced heat pumps
  • - The development of rechargeable, lithium-ion battery packs for in-home use will boost the usage of solar energy

Water 

  • - Particularly in heavily built up urban areas, green roofs can form part of an effective sustainable drainage solution by reducing run-off at peak times, and lessening the need for underground drainage at side boundary level 

Building Materials 

  • - Low environmental impact materials such as reclaimed timber, recycled plastic and glass as well as naturally sourced products, can significantly enhance a property’s ‘green’ value 
  • - The consideration of the life cycle of materials and products used in the building and their impact on the environment is becoming increasingly important 

Jennet Siebrits, Head of Residential Research at CBRE UK, comments: 

“A green home is designed to be environmentally friendly and sustainable. The underlying design focusses on using as little water, energy resources and building materials as possible, and thereby creating a smaller impact on the environment.

“The benefits of ‘going green’ are clear from an environmental perspective. The earth’s resources are limited and we are using more than the earth can regenerate. In 2016, we used around 1.6 times the earth’s resources, with the construction and running of a residential property having a significant impact on the environment. In most developed nations, household electricity use generally makes up about a third of total electricity consumption.

“Energy from fossil fuels consumed in the construction and operation of buildings accounts for approximately half of the UK’s emissions of carbon dioxide. Housing alone generates 29% of UK emissions, of which 82% is used for space and water heating.

“This report considers the variety of techniques that both the producer and user of residential buildings can incorporate in to the design of the property, that can help lead to a ‘high performing’ green property.”

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